Fortunately for Sulphur Springs they were doing the homers and recording the strikeouts as they downed Mount Pleasant 5-2 in Friday night road district baseball action.
Jace Jackson and Colby Suggs belted homers to account for four of the five runs. Suggs, a junior right-hander, used mainly fastballs to sit Mount Pleasant batters down. He tamed the Tigers, recording 12 strike outs while allowing just two runs on four hits, walking one in a complete game victory,
The win moves Sulphur Springs to 6-4 in district and a step closer to postseason action.
"We just about wrapped up a place...the worst that could happen is that we tied somebody for a playoff berth. With six wins we are in good shape two games left. If we win seven games then that just about guarantees us third place," said Sulphur Springs head baseball coach Jerrod Hammack.
The Wildcats scored five times off seveb hits, drawing five walks and striking out seven times. Senior Matt Casteel was pinned with the loss for the Tigers.
"I'm glad we won, but not the way we got the win. I thought we were lethargic, we were waiting for things to happen," Hammack said. "I thought we'd win by a bigger margin. But it's a win, you have to give Mount Pleasant credit too. If you'd seen this game and not known the records of the teams, you might have thought Mount Pleasant was a playoff team. I don't like playing teams which haven't won in district, you know they are going to get a win, you just hope it is not against you. We got enough runs to win. Suggs did not have a curve ball, he go outs by moving his fastball around."
Sulphur Springs jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, scoring in the first inning. Shane McQueen got a double to shallow right field. McQueen moved to third on a ground out by Tripp Reeves. McQueen scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Suggs.
It appeared the Wildcats were headed for a big inning when Mason Rawson and Connor Brackhahn drew walks. But Ben Barrows struck out with two runners in scoring position, Jocko Spataro drew a two-out walk to load the sacks. Leadoff hitter McQueen could not reach, going down on strikes, leaving the bases juiced.
Suggs reached deep and struck out the Tigers in order for a quiet bottom of the second inning.
The top of the third was full of noise by the Sulphur Springs' bats, Reeves lined out to right field, but really pounded the ball. The next hit would not be caught as it left the yard. Suggs hammered a pitch into the twilight over the outfield fence to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Kolton Jones reached on a bunt hit. Rawson coaxed a walk to give Sulphur Springs two base runners. Jace Jackson powered the ball over the outfield fence for a three-run blast to make it a 5-0 lead. Barrows singled, but the Wildcats could not manage another run.
Suggs allowed one run late, but stayed tough to hit. The hurler fanned two batters in the fifth, two more in the sixth and closed out the seventh with three straight strikeouts. The Wildcats took the 5-2 win, their second big district victory of the week.
Sulphur Springs was scheduled to host Marshall for Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Eagle Stadium in a rare day game at 2 p.m.
"We have nine seniors who will be honored, They are a special class to me because they were freshmen when I took over here," Hammack said. '
The Wildcats close out the regular season May 1 at Hallsville at 7 p.m.
SS JV 14, MP JV 9
The bats were booming early as the Sulphur Springs junior varsity took a 14-9 win over Mount Pleasant.
Kade Wimberly had three hits and three RBI to lead an 11-hit attack which jumped all over over MP starter Tony Flores.
Sulphur Springs opened the game with a seven-run top of the first. The Wildcats batted for 18 minutes, sending 10 batters to the dish, five of them getting hits. Lane Anderson had an infield hit after Jose Martinez had walked. Austin Garrett knocked in two runs with a single. Another run scored on a wild pitchoff play. Tanner Stonaker stroked a triple and later scored when Jared Riley reached on an error. Later in the inning with runners on second and third, Wimberly laced a double to the outfield to plate two runners. The home team was down 7-0 when they came to bat for the first time.
The Wildcats added another run in the top of the second when Dallin Sant grounded out as a runner raced home from third.
The Tigers answered with five runs in the bottom of the second. Sulphur Springs had a 9-5 lead when Jackson Massey replaced starter Jose Martinez on the hill.
Mount Pleasant tied the game at 9-all with a big rally as action shifted to the top of the fourth.
Taz Owsley began a rally with a single to left field. Stonaker was hit by a pitch and Sant got an infield hit to drive in a run and break the 9-all tie with Sulphur Springs going ahead 10-9.Massey would also come up with an RBI as the Wildcats eased ahead 11-9. Sulphur Springs would tack on three more runs and win by the 14-9 final.
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